A bit late with the post, sorry - I'm planning for another camping trip this weekend and have spent a lot of time running errands, buying new supplies, etc. What can I say? I'm a wilderness guy! A few weeks ago, I promised the dogs another outing, and hey! They saved my life once, they get what they ask for! (Oh! That reminds me .. probably no new entry tomorrow. Or just a quickie before I head out. Actually, it'll be a quickie. I know just the one...)
(In addition, yesterday I was abducted by pushy girls again. Seems to be a pattern. Sleepy now.)
For my trip, I'm purposely saving the bulk of this week's haul to savor beside a campfire late at night under the stars in the Idaho forest while munching on a freshly grilled steak. Or trout, depending on my fishing luck. So, despite the new Spirit, the last Shazam, and how much I enjoyed the 1st issue of WW Hulk, I'm going with one that grabbed me in the store as I flipped through it, and I felt like checking out as soon as I got home...
The Order #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Barry Kitson
I really only flip through a few of these Initiative cross-overs, usually because I enjoy the writer. Which is why I picked this one up. I love Fraction's Casanova and based solely on that, made a mental note to check out anything that I notice his name on. I read about 3 pages before I decided it was a keeper and brought it home. And now that I've finished it, I'm glad I did. It's very good.
The Order is Tony Stark's volunteer police force for his new world order. If your application is accepted, you undergo rigorous training (both in tactics and ethics), months of evaluation and are put on a waiting list. If you're called up, your body is upgraded with a predetermined super power and put in charge of California's defense. But because of the enormous strain on the body, the powers will last one year, at best. Then, your replacements are called up. It's "Who wants to be a super-hero" set in the Marvel Universe.
.... wait a tic .... umm... Stan? Let's both forget I noticed that. Please?
If this whole thing seems a bit familiar, then you're a fan of Strikeforce: Morituri, like I am. It's a great concept, but it really only works if you actually care about the characters. Fraction makes you. I really like these guys, especially the team's leader, who is used as the point of view to relate the story to the reader. It's a good sign when you like the original cast, are a bit miffed when some of them are removed, but then like the replacements even more. For a set-up issue, this one covers everything. Fraction is one tight writer. The art's pretty, too. (And kudos to whoever designed Veda's magical cleavage window. Big fan of the magical cleavage window. Big fan.)
There's some great character moments with Pepper Potts (when did she get super powers? Huh. Am I ever out of the Iron Man loop...), flashback scenes that actually further the backstory as they push you into relating to the characters, and moments when Tony Stark actually doesn't seem like a prick. A few tasty one-liners, too. Honestly, this was much better than I was expecting. Recommended.
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